WTF is up with daffodils, crocuses (crocii?) and their ilk?

It’s kind of weird that they come up and bloom when there’s every possibility of a killer frost as well as too cold for insects to cross-pollinate. I suppose the no-insects thing is because they are bulb-based and don’t need insects.

My real question is if they need insects then why come up when there aren’t many (or any)? And if they don’t need insects then why bother with blooms?

Some insects, especially bumblebees (which can heat themselves up by shivering) are active at this time and can accomplish pollination. The plants that do come up have no competition for pollinators. And since they are capable of reproduction by budding off new bulbs, they essentially have a fail-safe system in case they don’t get pollinated.

Go out in the woods in the early spring. They are full of wild flowers. Their strategy is to go through their life cycle using the spring sunshine of the longer days before the trees leaf out and hog it all.

We have daffodils, crocuses, and other flowers coming up. I must watch for pollinators. Willows blossom early too. They are an important food source for bees building up their hive in the spring.

Honey bees can be active this time of year, on a warm day. They will bring in pollen, God knows where they find it, in Februrary in the DC area. Don’t know if they visit daffodils though.

There are certainly bees about at the time of crocuses and daffodils - and the bees always seem quite eager to visit these early sources of nectar.

Crocuses turn to face the sun as it moves, the open petals forming a parabolic reflector, creating a warm spot which bees find most agreeable. The warm spot happens to be where the flower’s reproductive organs are.

(Has “Shivering Bumblebees” been taken as a band name yet? If not, why not?)

Some early-blooming plants even produce their own heat to attract insects, like skunk cabbage.